July 24, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; University of Southern California Trojans head coach Lane Kiffin talks to the media at PAC-12 Media Day at Universal Studios Hollywood. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE
Hating USC is about as natural as breathing.
Even during USC's heyday there was a fair amount of hate for the program. Yes, ESPN went all in with USC to the point of touting them one of the greatest of all time. But once USC lost to Texas, in what many would call the greatest college football game ever played, the bottom dropped out.
The Reggie Bush allegations broke, followed later by the OJ Mayo allegations. The team had a chance to go to their third straight BCS title game until they lost to UCLA 13-9. Even with some great wins USC always stubbed their toe with a mind boggling loss.
Pete Carroll left, Lane Kiffin was hired then the NCAA lowered the boom. Then Pat Haden was hired.
Whew! That is a lot for a fanbase to handle in such a short period of time.
Many had their doubts about Kiffin. That first year was tough to swallow, but it was a necessary cross to bear in order to give the program a new outlook. This past year Kiffin made this team better, they started off slow but by the Notre Dame game They were firing on all cylinders.
But the past is the past.
USC is back in the discussion for football reasons. They are in the top three depending on what poll you read.
USC is supposed to be in NCAA jail. The Trojans are in the midst of playing under NCAA sanctions stunning in their severity, sanctions designed to cripple the program's ability to succeed.
Yet there the Trojans stand in their once-customary position of No. 1 in the ESPN Power Rankings. Quarterback Matt Barkley, who eschewed the first round of the NFL draft to return for his senior season, is a Heisman favorite. So much for NCAA president Mark Emmert's attempt to be tough on rule breakers.
Blah, Blah, Blah....
I have no idea how far this team will go this year. Everything is lining up for a special season but things happen.
I am less concerned about that though, Kiffin will have this team prepared.
I am more fired up at all the attention USC is getting. All the haters are gnashing their teeth because we didn't die after the NCAA carpet bombed the program. There is no such thing as bad publicity.
From Finebaum, to Forde to Schlabach to Hayes to Maisel, I am loving that they are all shaking their heads in dismay.
I give Lane Kiffin a tremendous amount of credit in how he retooled this program. He brought in players who saw what was ahead and refused to be deterred. This is not the Lane Kiffin of old. Yes, the old Lane will pop up at times but over all he has been a model citizen.
That drives the haters nuts...there is nothing controversial to report. The whole mess over the coaches poll barely moved the needle.
USC won't be back in my eyes until they win a national title, but until then I will take all the attention they are getting because I know its drives the haters crazy.